St. Lucia Offers ‘frictionless’ Virtual Citizenship Application Process
The St. Lucia Citizenship-by-Investment Unit (CIU) has launched the Caribbean region’s first, and currently only, e-payment platform. It enables international investors and their families to apply for the island nation’s investment migration programme entirely online, offering greater efficiency and reducing the processing time from application to the granting of citizenship. The e-payment platform has the capacity to receive all payments associated with the application, including the processing and due diligence fees; administrative fees for real estate and bonds, and the investment made into the National Economic Fund.
CEO Nestor Alfred says delivering a secure, transparent, fast, efficient, and professional service to high-net-worth global investors lies at the heart of St. Lucia CIU’s latest innovation developed by its internal IT team. “During the Covid-19-imposed international lockdown, arranging for bank wire transfer could either add weeks to the timeframe or be simply impossible for our investors to manage. This homegrown, wholly-owned and managed e-payment and processing platform is seamlessly integrated into our new website and will save our clients’ precious time as well as capital as there are no fees required to manage the transfer.”
St. Lucia offers various options to investors looking to secure citizenship of the country, starting at USD 100,000. In May, St. Lucia was the first Caribbean country to announce a new investment option in response to the coronavirus pandemic. To qualify for citizenship via the Covid-19 Relief Bond option, which currently runs until 31 December 2020, an individual is required to make a minimum investment of USD 250,000 in a non–interest-bearing government bond that must be held for five years.
In addition, St. Lucia recently made several key amendments to its legislation to make its citizenship-by-investment program even more attractive to investors with families. The category of ‘qualifying dependant’ has been expanded and now includes the option to “add-on” qualifying dependants in all investment options for the granting of citizenship. Besides your spouse, you can now include children up to the age of 30 as well as parents over 55 if they are fully supported by you. An unmarried sister or brother who is under 18 can also be included in your application.
As Alfred points out, the Caribbean island nation is intent on creating additional value for its international investors over and above the sustainable return that is guaranteed by St. Lucia CIU’s commitment to the highest standards of good governance. “We offer significant return on investment at a competitive investment level, with visa-free access to 146 destinations worldwide, but it’s our dedication to ensuring rigorous due diligence and accountability at the highest level across comparable options that really underpins this strategic investment. The long-term growth and legacy options offered by St. Lucia to international investors include lifelong yield for themselves and their dependents as well as ongoing and exponential value opportunities through enhanced global mobility.”
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